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Break Taboos, Talk Openly To Bring Menstruation Into Global Health, Development Realm

The Conversation: Menstruation is a global health problem — and we need to talk about it
Marni Sommer, associate professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University

“…[T]he ongoing taboo around talking about periods makes it hard to find solutions to the challenges girls in low-income countries face. It also hinders the global efforts to address these challenges and bring menstruation into the realm of global health and development. … Although many efforts have been made to include sexual and reproductive health curricula in schools over the last decade, the topic of puberty and menstrual hygiene management in particular has often not been included. … The key is to start talking openly about this issue. … Menstruation is, after all, totally normal. So let’s break the taboo and not wait for the next time a celebrity starts bloviating to talk about menstruation again…” (8/13).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.